Mountaineering Legend, Conrad Anker, brings Hold Fast to UK stages
Climber who found Mallory’s body brings talk to UK audiences
Considered one of the world’s greatest climbers and mountaineers of our time, Conrad Anker has numerous first ascents to his name, including the focus of the stunning feature film, Meru, as he led the first successful ascent of the hugely challenging Himalayan Meru Central pillar. The lead climber of The North Face Climbing Team, Conrad also led the expedition to locate the body of Andrew Irvine on Everest, from the fateful 1924 summit attempt by George Mallory and Irvine
In this rare opportunity to see a true mountaineering legend, Conrad now brings the story of his climbing life, Hold Fast: Yosemite to Everest to Meru, to audiences in a brand new ‘An Evening with…’ style talk to twelve selected theatres across the country, presented by Speakers from the Edge
In 1999, Conrad led the Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition, with the sole aim of solving what is perhaps one of mountaineering’s most compelling and greatest mysteries; whether the two climbers had been the first to summit Mount Everest in their 1924 attempt. Hoping to locate Irvine’s body, believed to possess a camera which might hold a photograph of the two men on the summit, on 1 May 1999 Conrad found a body at 8155m on the North Face, but was surprised to discover it was Mallory, not Irvine. The Research Expedition team interred Mallory where he lay
Later that same year, elite climbers Alex Lowe and Conrad set off, with cameraman David Bridges, on what would become their own tragic expedition, to become the first Americans to ski descend from the summit of Shishapangma, at 8013metres the world’s fourteenth highest peak, a descent to be filmed by David for an NBC documentary. When an avalanche crashed over them, despite suffering lacerations to the head, broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder, Conrad stayed on the mountain to lead a two-day rescue attempt to find Alex and David, to no avail. The two men were found 17 years later by Ueli Steck, another elite climber who died in a fall on Everest in 2017
Conrad returned in 2007 to lead the Altitude Everest Expedition, which included another Speakers from the Edge climber, Leo Houlding, in an attempt to retrace Mallory’s steps, using clothing and equipment similar to those used by Mallory and Irvine in 1924. Conrad again climbed Everest, this time without oxygen, with the Everest Education Expedition in 2012.
In 2017 Conrad led the The North Face team of Jimmy Chin, Alex Honnold, Anna Pfaff, Cedar Wright, and Savannah Cummins to Wolf’s Jaw massif in Queen Maud Land territory, Antarctica. On his 12th trip to the continent, he established a new route with Jimmy Chin on Ulvetanna, the highest peak in the area.
In Hold Fast: Yosemite to Everest to Meru, Conrad recounts the most prominent stories and pivotal points of his life of mountaineering. A US climber, this tour of venues in the UK represents a rare opportunity for climbers, adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts to hear some of the most famous mountaineering stories from a true legend.
Hold Fast is touring UK theatres this spring and will be showing at City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds, on Wednesday, 17 April. To book tickets, contact the Box Office on 0113 243 0808 / cityvarieties.co.uk or, for further details, visit www.speakersfromtheedge.com